ASTA Fights Insecticide Provision in FAA Bill

ASTA, joined by a broad coalition of industry allies, wrote to key House of Representatives committee chairmen to request that a costly and unenforceable provision governing insecticide screening of passengers be removed from major aviation-related legislation.

ASTA says the provision would require that air travelers be advised before purchasing any ticket for air travel whether an insecticide has been applied in the previous 60 days aboard the ticketed aircraft. ASTA says the costs of the measure would damage the travel industry and are unenforceable.

In a letter to full Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and to Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Costello (D-IL), ASTA argued that the provision would harm the travel and tourism industry by requiring that massive new technology investments be made simply to generate and process the information in question.

"Passing this new, unfunded mandate during these tough economic times would amount to kicking the travel and tourism industry when it's down," said Chris Russo, ASTA's president and chair. "It is literally impossible to comply with this mandate, which would unfairly single out travel agents and task them with enforcing something they don't have the means to track or report."

Russo added that the proposal would impose new costs on the air travel system, which would inevitably be passed on to consumers, saying: "Once again, the traveling public is at risk of footing the bill for a federal program lacking in justification or accountability."